Ferrari press release
If it’s true that the F1 cognoscenti have spent the winter saying we will only understand the current team hierarchy after Qualifying in Albert Park, it had been expected that maybe Friday’s three hours of free practice would shed some light on the matter. However, Melbourne’s famously changeable weather meant that any possible judgement was hiding behind the clouds that meant a wet track was a feature of both sessions.
For the record, Fernando Alonso finished fourth in both the morning and afternoon and Scuderia Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa was 18th in the F2012 in the morning after a harmless spin left him stuck in a gravel trap and then seventh in the afternoon. Given that yesterday was the first time the Australian city had seen rain in a long time, it seemed as though this was a special arrangement to spice up the show.
For what it’s worth, Michael Schumacher was quickest in the afternoon for Mercedes, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg in the Force India and Sergio Perez third for Sauber. After Fernando, Kamui Kobayashi was fifth in the other Sauber with Paul di Resta completing the top six in the second Force India.
There are some new faces on the grid and some not so new: this year we have two French rookies, Jean-Eric Vergne at Toro Rosso and Charles Pic at Marussia, while bringing the number of World Champions up to six is the returning Kimi Raikkonen, who had a two year rallying sabbatical after leaving Ferrari and is now lining up for Lotus. Tomorrow is expected to be dry, so hopefully qualifying, at 17h00 will finally provide the answers to the questions that have been asked all winter.